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Lucas Corso Is A Book Detective, A Middle Aged Mercenary Hired To Hunt Down Rare Editions For Wealthy And Unscrupulous Clients When A Well Known Bibliophile Is Found Dead, Leaving Behind Part Of The Original Manuscript Of Alexandre Dumas S The Three Musketeers, Corso Is Brought In To Authenticate The Fragment He Is Soon Drawn Into A Swirling Plot Involving Devil Worship, Occult Practices, And Swashbuckling Derring Do Among A Cast Of Characters Bearing A Suspicious Resemblance To Those Of Dumas S Masterpiece Aided By A Mysterious Beauty Named For A Conan Doyle Heroine, Corso Travels From Madrid To Toledo To Paris On The Killer S Trail In This Twisty Intellectual Romp Through The Book World One is never alone with a book nearby, don t you agree Every page reminds us of a day that has passed and makes us relive the emotions that filled it Happy hours underlined in red pencil, dark ones in black I almost never re read books but I will be reading this one again Once I get myself a copy This book is like the epitome of everything I like dark, mysterious, a bit thrilling, literary and nerdy, devilish, and of course the occult I didn t want it to end I love Corso, but Irene is the real HBIC.EDIT It s my lucky day walked to Book Off and found a hardcover for only five bucks Arturo P rez Reverte image from Periodistadigital.com Corso is an unscrupulous dealer in and acquirer of rare books When a famous collector is found dead, he is called in to authenticate what is supposedly an original manuscript chapter of The Three Musketeers He is subsequently engaged to find the remaining known copies of a mysterious book that may have the power to summon Satan himself The flap copy portrays this as in intellectual thriller and it is indeed that It would help to be familiar with the work of Dumas, but still fun even in the absence There are references aplenty that presume an eidetic memory of great literature, or, in the absence of that, at least an eagerness to engage the Google engine to add some light Whether the refs are obvious or require research, the author makes this a fun filled journey, a puzzle with literary clues and a surprise ending Quite recommended P rez Reverte is one of the best known, and best selling contemporary authors of Spanish fiction EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author s personal, Twitter and FB pages 6.0 stars Another book on my list of All Time Favorite novels This is a book that I started reading with very high expectations and, lo and behold, those expectations were actually met if not exceeded This book had so many aspects to it that were right in my wheelhouse First, it is set in the world of rare book collectors with endless references to rare editions to excite the book nerd in us all Second, there are two related subplots involving i an original manuscript of The Three Musketeers that tracks the life of Alexandre Dumas and explores many of his works and ii a rare book written in 1666 and reputed to have been written in partial collaboration with Satan himself that contain puzzles that need to be solved in order to .no spoilers Third, you have a superb main character in Lucas Corso, a cynical, amoral book detective played very well by Johnny Depp in the film version known as The Ninth Gate Fourth, Fifth, Sixth etc. you have secret societies, satanic rituals, exotic locals, femme fatales, quirky and memorable supporting characters, supernatural guardians and pacing that moves along very quickly Add all of that up and you have what the front of the book accurately describes as a beach read for intellectuals I loved it and I give it my HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION Nominee World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. A beachbook for intellectuals N.Y.Times indeed Its brilliance is subtle, the prose is accessible, the themes are grand How hard, really, is the creation of a postmodern beachbook Very And to wrangle with the conventions without overstepping unto dreaded cliche And to keep the characters charismatic vivid to keep a labyrinthine mystery going etc Very difficult, and this novel does not quite cross into the inanity of Jasper Fforde s terrain nor into the uber popular, comical turf of Mr Dan Brown It is original and entertaining in equal measure It is, perhaps, one of the sole post modern neonoir contenders to be forged unto the Must 1001 List.I watched the Roman Polanski Johnny Depp film, The Ninth Gate a while back and I still remember just how searing reviews had been I know now why the book is a minor gem whereas the film is a major flop Did you know that only half almost, precisely of the book exists in that cinematic format It is because the screenplay destroyed the marvelous effect constructed o so masterfully by Perez Reverte, only grabbing one strand of plot the demonic one doing with it what it wanted, that we don t have a good version of a book that, frankly, MUST be read not heard, or watched The Club Dumas is at its most basic good solid fun.